GS Blog

Without a steady trickle of voltage running through your building, your servers, workstations, cable boxes, routers, and other essential IT equipment would just sit there, useless. The key word, however, is “steady.” Abnormal voltage swings, spikes, and fluctuations can damage your hardware, which is why you need the right kind of protection for these devices. Check out these frequently asked questions about surge protectors.


What kinds of voltage abnormalities harm electronic equipment? The most obvious examples include lightning strikes or other dramatic voltage spikes that flood the power lines with more voltage than they can handle, doing immediate and serious damage to connected devices. But minor everyday surges or brownouts (drops on voltage) can also damage equipment in more subtle and gradual ways.

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What is a surge protector? A surge protector is a device designed to block sudden, large voltage surges beyond a certain point designated the clamping voltage. Any voltage above this level gets automatically rerouted to ground, preventing it from wrecking your electronics.


What is a line conditioner? A line conditioner protects electronic equipment against the daily abuse caused by countless small inconsistencies in voltage (sometimes referred to as noise voltage). This device cleans up and stabilizes the voltage so that all the connected devices receive the standard 120 volts.

How do I equip my facility with the right kind of protection? Skip the cheap surge protectors in favor of UPS units that include line conditioning and surge protection functions. The investment will help protect against data loss as well as hardware damage. Look for the highest joule rating (a measure of much energy the components can handle) you can afford. Make sure that the components include protection for Ethernet cables, which can also carry damaging surges.


Need advice on protective equipment for your IT system? Ask our Austin IT support team!